I am a member of the RIYC since September 2016. When I joined the club I had no idea the amazing opportunities that lie beyond the doors of the club. I have just returned from New York having availed of one of these opportunities. I recently discovered the benefits of the reciprocal memberships that are available to members of the RIYC. I spent 5 nights at the Athletic Club of New York, based on Central Park South in New York.   I also got to go sailing with the Manhattan Yacht Club. But it was not just sailing. It was a once in a lifetime experience.
Through the RIYC Club Secretary, I was given an introduction to The Manhattan Yacht Club.  Reciprocal arrangements have only been available since June of 2017, so I was the first RIYC visitor under this new agreement.
I had emailed the secretary of the MYC looking to go sailing on The Lucky Dog Friday afternoon series. I was duly advised that only members of the MYC could use the fleet of J24s. I naturally persisted and sent further emails until the following E-mail arrived from Mindy, the MYC Club Secretary:
Hello Rory, If you can be at Manhattan Yacht Club by 4:30/4:45PM this Friday afternoon, Manhattan Yacht Club has a special opportunity for you. . . Sailing aboard a 12 Meter. 
It turned out that this 12 Meter is, in fact, America II. I only found out about an hour before I was due to sail after reading the email fully! America II is one of three boats commissioned for the 1987 Americas cup for those who are not familiar with the name.
I duly turned up at 5 pm on Friday the 25th of August and went aboard-after signing a waiver! We set sail and proceeded out into the Hudson, with Ellis Island and Liberty herself in the background. About 20 minutes into the sail, Gus Dollinger the young skipper in charge asked me:” Rory would you like to helm?”
Naturally, I took the chance. Helming for about 40 minutes sailing past Liberty, Ellis Island and over to The World trade center throwing in a few gybes and tacks on the way, the experience rapidly rose up the ranks to become my best ever sailing day!   
I have already sent an e mail of thanks to Scott Curtis the Commodore of the MYC, inviting members of the MYC to visit us in Dublin and to expect a lot of inquiries from RIYC members once the news breaks of my experiences.   
My advice to all members - look at the list of Clubs involved in the reciprocal membership arrangements and avail of all of the opportunities. 

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